Archives for November 2011

Literary Agents Closed to Queries: Is the Sky Falling?

Literary Agents Closed to Queries:  Is the Sky Falling?

 Who knew?  I’ve just learned I led the literary agent crowd when I closed my doors to new queries several year ago (for me it was to find time to develop software and hang with my family).  But now I hear that’s the norm–yet another mega-contraction in the world of possibilities for the unpublished writer. (If I listen closely, I can hear the

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Romance Writers Enough with the Rules Already!

Romance BooksRomance Writers Enough with the Rules Already!

Just stumbled on a short and funny essay by Avon’s romance blogger Lucia Macro.  From her opening lines:

“I’ve been seeing a lot of rules lately about romance writing. My advice today: stop. Please stop. Honestly, I’m not sitting around looking to see if your book has a prologue, if your pov shifts around a bit, or if [Read more…]

Sweating the Exception: An Exhaustingly Bad Idea

A worthy hit

Today my friend Michael Larsen, probably the menschiest literary agent on the planet, and I were talking about The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.  That book, published by the admirable Little, Brown, was a buzz book last BEA.   A first novel acquired for scads of money & published with great enthusiasm–but both Mike and I were underwhelmed by the read relative to the ransom.  Mike pondered:  What does this mean? Is character [Read more…]

Query Letters #2: That First Sentence (or, Writers, it’s Attitude Adjustment Time)

Don Corleone

Query Letter Scans--It's Strictly Business

This is the Second Entry in Our Queries Series.

Literary Agents. Do. Not. Have. To. Read. Your. Query Letter.

I write this so stridently to reduce your anxiety.

Time and again I run into unpublished writers who believe, sincerely, that the literary agent’s job is to read and respond to to their unsolicited queries. This is NOT the agent’s reality.  The lit agent’s job is to effectively and collaboratively guide the careers of the clients who have hired her to represent them.  She is paid for this work, either [Read more…]